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With savers receiving low returns from banks and building societies, thousands of people unsurprisingly continue to invest in residential property as a means of supplementing their income, supported by stable mortgage borrowing rates, strong demand from renters and healthy yields, as buy-to-let remains the investment of choice.

Buy-to-let investors have faced a challenging few years, characterised by tax and regulatory changes, and yet investment in property continues to outperform most major asset classes, as the PRS grows, with a sixth of the population – some 10 million people – now living in accommodation rented from private landlords.

According to OSB Group, which has just carried out the second instalment of its ‘Landlord Leaders’ survey, 69% of landlords had already or were planning to increase the size of their property portfolios, increasing to 77% of professional landlords.

Meanwhile, 42% of landlords remained optimistic about their future, with one in five professional landlords (20%) stating they felt very optimistic.

The optimism was reflected in the actions landlords were taking to help their businesses succeed; 65% were considering or had already transitioned to become limited companies or incorporated entities.

Additionally, more than two-thirds – 66% – invested or were planning to invest in order to stay ahead of legislative changes, 58% had or planned to employ more staff and 68% were spending more time thinking about the tenant experience.

Jon Hall, group managing director mortgages and savings at OSB Group, said: “Landlords play a critical role in society, and this research clearly demonstrates that they are optimistic and committed to the future of the sector.

“The actions landlords are taking, such as future financial planning, investing in the growth of their businesses, and building better tenant relationships, are a clear sign of their drive to improve the PRS for the long-term despite the many headwinds.

“We hope to see this continue over the next 12 months and longer.”

According to the research, the top reasons for being a landlord included earning potential and the ability to pass down wealth and inheritance to future generations, followed by investing in a fixed asset and having a positive impact on tenants’ lives.

The majority – 75% – of landlords had engaged or were planning to engage with tenants to understand their needs better and foster positive relationships, and a quarter – 25% – expressed their desire to positively impact tenants’ lives for the future.

Hall continued: “This latest research reinforces OSB Group’s view that the journey to professionalisation is one that many landlords are committed to.”


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